ATF Death Watch 41: A Rolling Stone(wall) Gathers No Melson.

Those that do not learn from history are condemned to repeat it.
                                                – George Santayana (1863–1952)

We can learn a lot from history. If only we pay attention, that is. But the Obama Administration seems Hell-bent for leather to ignore all the lessons they coulda/shoulda/woulda learned, had they just been paying attention to the end of the Nixon Administration. Case in point, you can’t expect to hang someone out to dry without them turning stool-pigeon and singing for the grand inquisitors. Word is now trickling out about the testimony of ATF’s Acting Director, Kenneth Melson. Testimony that would indicate that AG Eric Holder has, in the words of Ricky Ricardo, got some ‘splainin’ to do…

In closed-door testimony to Congressional investigators, Kenneth Melson sang like the proverbial canary, rather than doing his previous dead-on impression of Sgt. Shultz from Stalag 13. The statements won’t come as any surprise to members of TTAG’s Armed Intelligentsia, any more so that the concept that “water is still wet.” However, and for the record, Melson owned up to the fact that his jackbooted elves, in at least one instance, allowed the sale of weapons to weapons traffickers without intercepting them.

Still a little weasel-ish (one instance, Kenny-Boy? Just one?), but progress is progress. But the bread and circuses part was still to come: the assertion that his superiors at Justice (that would be Eric Holder) have been stonewalling Congress (no, DUH) to protect political appointees in the scandal. To which  political appointees could Melson be referring?

Allow me to count the knaves – Holder, natch. DHS Head Cheese Janet Napolitano, and Sec-State Hillary Clinton. Ruh-rho, Reorge! Let’s face it. Given that since this misbegotten passion play began, it’s been called a “joint operation involving the ATF, FBI, DHS, ICE and US Border Patrol.” Throw in the international angle, and you’ve got agencies who need approval of the Attorney General, the Sect. of Homeland Security, and the Secretary of State.

This represents the first direct testimony by any senior ATF honcho that confirms accusations coming from GOP members on the Hill. It also gives credence to the complaints from Rep. Issa and Sen. Grassley, namely that Holder has been circling the wagons and refusing to cooperate.

Now, here’s a little secret that we writers know. If you wanna fess-up, own-up or otherwise take credit for something, good or bad, you write/speak in active voice. If you’re gonna try to weasel out of it, you write/speak in passive voice.  Thusly, here’s two quotes from Herr Melson:

There were some mistakes made [in Fast & Furious by the Phoenix division of the ATF].

For those of you who slept through English class, that was passive voice. “Mistakes were made,” but it’s anybody’s guess who made ‘em.

It was very frustrating to all of us, and it appears thoroughly to us that the Department (of Justice) is really trying to figure out a way to push the information away from their political appointees at the department.

This statement is much more clear-cut. Melson was frustrated as he watched Holder arrange the musical deck chairs in such a way as to protect the Obamanauts, but leave him chairless, holding the proverbial bag. Here’s another humdinger of a quote:

I think they were doing more damage control that anything [at the Justice Department].

Ya THINK? And now for the Understatement of the Year, may I have the envelope, puh-leeeze?

Lets not forget, campers that if this were a Hans Christian Andersen tale, what we’re looking at here is the first crack in the dyke. That water dribbling down from the fissure? Just watch. It’s gonna become rivulets, then a stream, then a spout and suddenly we’ll see the hydroscopic pressure break down that dam like a wrecking ball crashing through abandoned public housing.

The only thing Holder’s got going for himself at this point, is that he probably knows where to find a good attorney. Here’s hoping he’ll eventually turn State’s Evidence, and do the canary thing for his boss.